Good in many ways, but bad in some
The Clutch. At about 4000 miles it started juddering when pulling away, especially if the weather was damp. This disappears after a few miles, but until then is disconcerting, particularly at roundabouts.
Dealers wanted to charge to look at it and reassemble it (~£500) and would only reimburse that fee should a fault be found which constitued a warranty claim. As such I have decided to live with it.
Fuel management light (outline of an engine icon) came on. Dealer wanted £75 just to diagnose, but the cause, somewhat surprisingly, turned out to be low coolant. Worth noting for you Vauxhall owners out there.
The car is very comfortable for my 6'7 frame, with plenty of room in an almost Tardis-like capacity. In fact with my height it is one of the few manual cars I can drive and in the past I've had to have automatics.
Visibility is good although it mists up more that other cars.
The mirrors are great and are electronically adjustable, but would benefit from being heated.
I feel the gear ratios could be improved. First seems too low and second is too high, meaning roundabouts take more planning than in other cars.
I didn't buy the car for its performance, which is just as well since compared to other budget cars like Ford's Fiesta it feels somewhat underpowered. It will reach an indicated 100mph, but feels strained and is noisy at motorway speeds although smoothness isn't an issue.
Handling is surprisingly good for something that looks like it should be top heavy. Get it right and you can negate the need to brake on a twisty road.
There's no doubt that it is an ugly looking thing and a blatant copy of Suzuki's Wagon R, but clutch aside, it scores highly on comfort, fuel consumption and ease of parking and is overall a recommendable package as long as your journeys are frequent, but short.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 14th October, 2007